How to Sew a Flannel Shirt into a Bucket Hat

2 pictures of girl with green shirt wearing a newly created bucket hat

When you want to update your wardrobe, reach for an old flannel shirt and create a super-cool must-have accessory for almost any occasion - a stylish bucket hat. Flannel shirts are typically plaid and come in a checkered or tartan pattern but in an array of fun solid colors as well. This project will have you mixing and matching the designs of shirts so they will fit your personality. It’s an easy sewing project to make for yourself or to give as gifts.


  • Brother Sewing Machine
  • 2 once-loved flannel shirts
  • Fusible interfacing
  • A rotary cutter
  • Pink shears
  • Fabric scissors
  • A marking pen
  • Straight pins
  • An Iron
  • Pattern
Pattern Pieces with Tape Measure
Pattern pieces on grid with tape measure


  1. Deconstruct the shirts

    First, deconstruct the flannel shirts and be sure to save your scraps so you can create even more hats or other projects with the leftovers!

    Cut off the sleeves and then cut the sleeve length at the seam to get a wide section of material.

    hand with scissors cutting the flannel shirt
    hand with scissors cutting the hands off the flannel shirt

    Cut off the neckline. And finally, cut the side seams of the shirt.

    hand with scissors cutting through flannel shirt

  2. Cut the new fabric

    Once the shirt is deconstructed, cut out fabric pieces and fusible interfacing -

    pattern pieces on the flannel displaying the areas that need to be cut
    hand cutting fabric into the necessary shape using pattern pieces

    You will need to cut 4 pieces for the brim, 4 pieces for the middle portion of the hat, 2 pieces for the top and cut 2 pieces of fusible interfacing for the brim.

    fabric pieces some colorful some not displaying different sides of the fabric

    The hat will be reversable but taking note of the outer fabric and inner fabric will help with the making process.

    Iron the fusible interfacing to the inner pieces of fabric for the brim.

    Hand ironing on interfacing

    Next, match up the ends of the large brim pattern pieces and sew them together, using a 3/8th seam allowance.

    hand showing the end of the fabric pin holder with pins right next to it
    hand sewing the edges of brims while holding the cloth

    Do the same with the pattern pieces for the middle part of the hat. Match up the ends and sew the raw edges together.

    hands poining at the edges of the middle piece of fabric
    hands sewing ends of middle pieces of the flannel

    Now you will have created two middle pieces.

    Press the inside seam to one side and then topstitch the seam allowance down. Do this to all four seams. There are 4 for the two sections of the brim and 4 for the two middle sections. Set the middle section aside.

    hand with iron pressing seam in white background
    hands holding cloth in white background displaying the colors of the flannel shirt
    hand holding cloth while using sewing machine to sew it together

  3. Sewing the brim

    With the right sides of the two brim pieces together, pin them in place by lining up the side seams and outer edge. Sew around the outer end of the brim.

    hands holding the cloth displaying the colors of the flannel
    hand holding cloth while using pins in the edges to hold them together
    sewing brim pieces together at the edge

    Using your pinking shears, cut the seam allowance around the raw edge to give it a zigzag edge.

    cutting close to the seam on the fabric

    This will take out some of the bulkiness of the fabric when you turn it the right side out.

    Alternatively, if you do not have pinking shears, you can clip the edges with your fabric scissors to get the same results.

    scissors cutting the fabric close to the seam of the fabric

    Be careful not to clip the stitches.

    Turn the brim right side out and press so it's flat.

    hands holding cloth displaying both sides of the cloth
    hands holding the cloth while ironing the right side of the brim

    On your sewing machine, topstitch the brim 1/4 inch away from the outer edge of the brim.

    stitching around the brim to the top of the flannel cloth, hands holding the cloth

    Once the topstitch is complete, continue sewing another 1/8” away from the original line and continue sewing all the way around in a spiral to the top of the brim.

    Doing this in a spiral method will save time, and the result will look clean and professional.

    stitching around the brim to the top of the flannel cloth

    Set the brim aside.

  4. Assemble to Middle Section

    To assemble the middle portion of the hat, pin the middle section to the top circle by pinning the middle around the outer edge of the circle.

    assembling cloth into sections for the bucket hat
    hands pinning cloth from a flannel shirt together white background

    Pin as you go and make sure the fabric lays flat around the circle with no gaps. You will use ample pins to keep it secure and flat around the curves. Do this with both middle sections and tops.

    hand pointing at black cloth with pins, on the side is colorful cloth from a cut flannel shirt
    hand pointing at bucket hat cloth, white background, pins around the cloth

    Sew the circle pieces removing the straight pins as you sew making sure the fabric stays flat.

    Sewing machine sewing around black fabric

    Cut around the raw edge with your pinking shears.

    hand holding the cloth of the fabric while cutting it with black scissors

    On the outer top piece, fold in and press a 2-inch section. This will be used when we assemble the hat later.

    yellow iron pressing on the opening of the bucket hat

  5. Putting it all together

    Pin the inner middle hat to the brim with the right sides facing each other - lining up the side seams.

    hand pointing at pins on the brim of the bucket hat

    Sew the pieces together all the way around and clip with your pinking shears.

    hands sewing the brim of the bucket hat to the inner middle section

    Turn the brim inside the top of the hat and pin the outer middle section of the hat inside the hat with the right sides together and lining up the side seams.

    hands holding bucket hat turning the brim inside of middle section
    hands holding bucket hat pinning the outer middle section
    hands holding bucket hat using pins in the hat to hold the outer middle leaving opening

    Sew around the hat leaving a 2" opening for turning.

    hands holding bucket hat white background
    hand sewing bucket hat on the sewing machine

    Turn the hat right side out through the opening.

    hands holding bucket hat turning right sides out
    Hands holding bucket hat top view grid background

    Press the opening, pin it closed and topstitch the opening. Continue to topstitch all the way around the top of the hat.

    Pressing the bucket hat with an iron
    Hands holding sewed bucket hat white background
    hands moving the bucket hat into the sewing machine

    Design note: Create a patch to add to the hat using My Design Center and your embroidery machine!

    Your bucket hat is complete. This new bucket hat is made from old flannel shirts! This is a great way to rescue once loved flannels and give yourself a new fashion accessory.


  Girl with green shirt and bucket hat


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